The Bible teaches us not to give in order to be seen by others, that giving is best done in secret. For if you give to be seen by others, you have received your reward already … that is, your return is the adulation and reputation that others assign to you. However, God is all-knowing and everywhere-present, and when you give in secret, God is the one who will reward you.
On my bus ride to the orphanage today we stopped to allow a young couple with their baby to board. The mom started to sit next to me in the second row, but then a lady in the front row moved over so that the mom could sit next to her. The dad sat next to me, and fiddled with a baby bottle.
I was stunned at how young they were. I looked at the mom, then looked at the dad, glanced back at the mom, then glanced back at the dad. I did not want to stare, but I had never seen anything like it, and I was trying to get a read on their ages.
I would be surprised if they are teenagers yet.
12 years old! Parents! I can hardly believe it. Of course, I have no way of knowing their actual ages, but I am convinced that neither of them was 14, and when I considered 13 I thought to myself, “I really don`t think that they are even 13 years old.” I had no idea you could even spawn offspring at that age.
I still had money that my friends had given me to give away, and I had to act quickly because my exit was coming up. Mostly I had been giving away 10 peso coins, but I thought I should give this young couple one of the 20 peso bills in my wallet. And then I felt a pang in my heart, 20 pesos was not enough. So I pulled a second 20 peso bill out of my pocket, and thought that 40 pesos would be a nice surprise for them … yep, 40 pesos, that will be plenty … hmmm. My exit was in sight, and we were about to stop, but my heart was still panging. It became clear to me, 3 bills for 3 people – dad, mom, and baby – and I grabbed the third 20 peso bill I was carrying and tried to hand it to the dad who had stood up to let me out. At first he refused, but I insisted and he reluctantly accepted. I bounded off the bus and was gone.
Boy did that feel good!
But alas, 60 pesos is only about $5 measly U.S. dollars. I’m not sure why I was hesitating. If there is any consolation, 60 pesos is probably a fair amount to a 12 year old Mexican.
The Bible also talks about giving G-E-N-E-R-O-U-S-L-Y, and that is not an easy thing to do. But if we can become generous givers, the Bible indicates that the return grows at least proportionately. To paraphrase, “Give, and it shall be given to you, pressed down, shaken together, it will spill into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Who knows what that return might look like, but the return is a promise from God.